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New site chosen for World War I and II memorial

Crown Point Mayor David Uran, Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway President Mitch Barloga and other project organizers celebrate an agreement to locate a World Wars I & II and Holocaust Memorial at Sauerman Woods Park during the May 18 Crown Point Board of Works meeting.
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Crown Point Mayor David Uran, Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway President Mitch Barloga and other project organizers celebrate an agreement to locate a World Wars I & II and Holocaust Memorial at Sauerman Woods Park during the May 18 Crown Point Board of Works meeting.

A new location has been finalized for Lake County's World Wars I & II and Holocaust Memorial. The Crown Point Board of Works approved a 99-year lease with the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway Wednesday, allowing the memorial to be placed at Sauerman Woods Park. That replaces the space previously set aside near the Crown Point Sportsplex.

Mitch Barloga is the president of the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway. "We're very proud of this. We believe the site that we are receiving is going to be a much more fitting location for such a solemn memorial, memorializing the 1,200 soldiers that died in Lake County alone from World War I and World War II," he told board members.

Barloga said it will consist of monuments and memorials around a pond, with a pavilion at one end containing the names of those who died. "You have to keep in mind that World War I and World War II are a continuous story. Hitler figured out the Holocaust in the trenches of War War I, and that brings us, of course, to the end of that terrible conflict in 1945. And we want to tell that story, and we also want to tell the story of the Lake County veterans who served," Barloga added.

Former Crown Point Mayor Jim Metros was happy the project is finally moving ahead, saying that World War II touches everyone. "The sacrifice that's been made for this country has been tremendous, and it's our job now to honor that sacrifice. And what a great thing, a great responsibility that we have," Metros told the board of works.

Barloga said the goal is to get the design done this year and complete the memorial in the next two to five years. Plans for a new roundabout at U.S. 231 and 113th Avenue would provide direct access to the Sauerman Woods location.